Are you a survivor of sexual assault or abuse that occurred years ago? The State of Maryland took a significant step toward justice for you by passing the Child Victims Act of 2023. This act empowers victims to hold their abusers accountable, regardless of the time that has passed. In collaboration with Sarah Klein from MSF, SBWD Law is dedicated to supporting survivors and ensuring their rights are protected. Contact us for a free consultation and let us stand with you.

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Who Is Eligible to Sue the Catholic Church for Child Abuse?

by | Sep 8, 2023 | Child Injury

What to Know If You Were Abused by a Clergy Member or Catholic Priest

It can take years, even decades, for some child sex abuse victims to come forward. Earlier this year, Maryland passed a law eliminating the statute of limitations that previously prevented some sex abuse victims from coming forward. 

If you suffered abuse in the Catholic Church as a child, you may now be able to pursue a lawsuit regardless of how many years ago the abuse happened. It is important, however, to discuss your case with an attorney to determine who you are eligible to sue.

At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner, & Davey, P.A., we provide experienced representation for individuals who were sexually abused as a child. It is believed that sex abuse cases against the Catholic Church are significantly underreported. Even if the abuse happened years ago, you now have the right to come forward and pursue damages. Contact our office at (410) 685-2022 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Who Can Sue the Catholic Church?

Thousands of Catholic priests and other clergy members have had claims of sexual abuse filed against them. If you experienced abuse by a priest or a clergy member, you might be entitled to damages even if the abuse occurred decades earlier. On March 16, 2023, the Maryland State Senate passed the Child Victims Act of 2023, eliminating the statute of limitations for individuals who had been sexually abused as a child.

If you are a childhood sexual abuse survivor, you have more options for coming forward and pursuing a claim for damages. Coming forward can help hold not only the abuser accountable for their wrongdoing but also the institution that protected them. In some cases, abuse by a single priest or clergy member went on for decades without church leadership taking action.

Who Can You Sue If You Were Sexually Abused As a Child in the Catholic Church?

If you were sexually abused as a child in the Catholic Church, you might be entitled to bring a claim for damages against one or more parties. First and foremost, you can bring a lawsuit against the perpetrator. Even if they have died, you may be able to bring a claim against their estate.

In addition to the priest or clergyman that caused the abuse, you might also be able to file a lawsuit against the church itself. Many people have filed a claim against the Archdiocese of Baltimore for failing to address reports of abuse. 

Contact Our Office to Speak with an Experienced Lawyer

Coming forward with allegations of childhood sexual abuse is never easy, but it can help to hold these wrongful parties accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one suffered abuse as a child in the Catholic Church, contact our office at (410) 685-2022 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Let us help you determine if you are eligible to file a claim against the Catholic Church or another liable party. Call now to speak directly with a member of our legal team. All case evaluations are confidential. We proudly serve clients in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.

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